Wikimedia blog

News from the Wikimedia Foundation and about the Wikimedia movement

Posts by Rob Halsell

WMF needs additional datacenter space

The Wikimedia Foundation is looking into the option of expanding into a new datacenter.  Currently the plans are tentative, but are expected to become much firmer once discussions with various Datacenter Providers takes place.

Currently, the servers for the projects reside in Tampa, Florida, USA, and in Amsterdam, Netherlands.  We actually have moved the servers recently in Amsterdam.  Now the time has come to move/expand in the US.  We are looking at moving to an area OUTSIDE of Florida, where every single hurricane season is not the cause of distress.

We are currently looking in the Virginia and DC areas, but are not adverse to other areas given the space/power/transit issues.  I have already been in contact with a number of vendors, but that doesn’t mean I do not want more options.

Things we require:

  • We are looking for Datacenters that offer co-location services with 24/7 access.
  • We also require racks have both primary and redundant power drops, from different feeds and circuits.
  • The drops also need to be 3phase 208V power.
  • Offers a low cost out of band access for our mangement network ONLY (no production traffic.)
  • Some kind of NOC in residence in the event of ‘horrible end of the world’ happenings and we need remote hands.  (We have LOM and remote reboot capabilities, but having a NOC is never horrible.)

Any interested sales folks at a datacenter can email me rob at wikimedia dot org.  Put ‘Datacenter Relocation Project’ in the subject so I am sure I see it!

Also, any folks out there who have decent recommendations, let me have em!

Server named Singer has a sore throat?

In working on the servers, some apache config files were made inoperable.  This is on a misc. services computer named Singer.  This is the host for our blogs, as well as some other web-facing info.  As such, the cached blogs are affected, but not the tech blog.  (It was, but it was the easiest to get back online.)

Apologies for any annoyance this single server downtime may have caused anyone.  Rest assured, it will be fixed and steps will be taken to prevent it from occurring in the future.

Welcome to Fred Vassard

I just wanted to post on our blog a warm welcome to our new systems administrator, Fred Vassard.   Today is Fred’s first day at Wikimedia, and we are already giving him a ton of work to do ;]

Welcome Fred, you will crash the cluster soon enough….

Pretty Servers

Since we now have our own blog, we can do neat stuff like point out that we have photos of one of our new datacenter deployments. They are tagged on Commons with the Category of Wikimedia Servers. However, if you just want to see the new photos you can do that here. Keep in mind all these are possible due to the generous donations of our readers!

Rob Halsell, Operations Engineer

Techblog is online.

Starting today the Wikimedia Technical Team now has a single, unified blog for updates.  This is a much more technical blog than the Wikimedia Blog (which covers Foundation issues and news).  Software updates, server changes, and other such issues will be covered here.

Open Source Telephony!

Many, many people know that the software the powers Wikipedia is called MediaWiki, and it is in fact an open-source software that anyone can use. What is not known however, is that the Wikimedia Foundation is now also using open-source software for our telephone system. This last weekend, we rolled out our Asterisk 1.4 installation. Asterisk is an open-source software managed by Digium. By utilizing open-source software to power our telephone system, the Foundation is taking another step in the direction of free and open software use.

Rob Halsell, IT Manager & Systems Administrator